Notice how the ticker on the left is now on zero all the way across? That's because I freaking graduated!
My brain still hasn't wrapped itself around that particular reality yet, and I feel like it won't truly hit me until I start my job in January. Even while I was walking across the stage at graduation on Monday, wearing the cap and gown, shaking the dean's hand, and listening to them call out my name, I was still in a disbelieving fog.
I know I did the work. I know I attended each class and internship day. Still, I have been working toward this goal for so long (since 2005!) that the idea of being done is entirely too big for my brain to be able to unpack right now.
My grandparents and all of my immediate family were able to come to the ceremony hosted my the College of Education on Monday, which was awesome. This was a personal goal and an accomplishment I worked toward for myself, but knowing that the people I love were able to share in my achievement made the day so much more special.
We celebrated in many ways. Sunday we had a very small, low-key graduation party with just family at my parents' house. Then, on Monday I met up with some friends from my cohort before the ceremony at a bar near campus to hang out and revel in our achievement. Even though I don't drink, it was fun to see everyone and experience the collective excitement together before our big moment. After the ceremony the family went out to dinner together and I had some amazing cheesecake to celebrate a job well done..
Now that the celebratory dust has settled and I'm just hanging out at my house while Steve is at work, my mind spends a good deal of time thinking about my grandma Nora (the person who inspired me to become a teacher) and what she might say to me if she were here to see me graduate in person. I imagine she would be proud. Not just because I accomplished a goal I set for myself, but because I didn't give up on that goal even after so much changed in my life and it would have been easier to give up than to push through.
I'm so excited to begin teaching in January and to finally be able to say I am living the life I have imagined. Now that I have realized this one, I get to move confidently in the direction of a new dream. :)